RaveWall Street Journal... a dense and dazzling ride through the sensory world of astoundingly sophisticated creatures. Who wouldn’t want to tag along on a field research trip or peek into the lab of a sensory biologist? ... rich with stories from lab and field, with lucid explanations of the mechanics behind sensory perception. There is more than enough mind-boggling science, with delightfully distracting footnotes on most pages and a whopping 45-page bibliography. Yet Mr. Yong’s storytelling will carry most readers through the thicket with ease ... It’s Mr. Yong’s task to expand our thinking, to rouse our sense of wonder, to help us feel humbled and exalted at the capabilities of our fellow inhabitants on Earth. This rich and deeply affectionate travelogue of animal sensory wonders ends with a plea to us—noisy, light-polluting anthropoid apes—to stop and consider others’ needs: for silence, for darkness, for space. Despite the stunning discoveries chronicled here, what we don’t know about these animals’ experience in the world we share is still virtually . . . everything.
RaveThe Wall Street JournalMs. Roach lets us ride in her pocket as she climbs into trucks with laconic wildlife officers, or kneels to puzzle out evidence at a training course on wildlife-attack forensics. She’s apparently fearless—who tries to order the deadly poison ricin online?—and always bemused. She’s Everywoman, gawping and giggling, then zeroing in on the heart of the matter with a satisfying summary—or a bemused shrug ... a high-concept, somewhat unruly, utterly fascinating book. Chapters about killer trees and beans, and one on pest control in the Vatican, may seem peripheral. But Ms. Roach’s narrative is wide-ranging, clambering down the taxonomic tree from bears and elephants, leopards and monkeys, to stoats and mice ... With a chilling smile and signature gallows humor, Ms. Roach reminds us who, in the end, remains the most dangerous animal of them all.
RaveThe Wall Street Journal... we can’t help rooting for [Flynn] ... Mr. Flynn’s narrative is quicksilver, darting like a hooked fish from side to side, never losing the line. Beneath the surface flow dark intimations of the writer’s occupation. There are startling plunges into melancholy ... abundant mythology of peacocks, richly explored throughout the book ... could perhaps have only been born out of a global pandemic, a period when almost everything fell apart for everyone. It’s a sparkling confessional from a man who tries to protect the innocent and beautiful from a world that he knows all too well can be relentlessly awful.
RaveThe Wall Street JournalThere is no one better at dressing the natural-history stage than Mr. Weidensaul. His prose is front-loaded with visual, aural and olfactory information that place the reader at his side, wherever he goes ... Mr. Weidensaul takes us to places we’ll likely never go, then deftly steps back to let us experience the scene. In an era when travel, for most, has sputtered to a stop, A World on the Wing is a bracing tonic. The author slips in facts and figures so painlessly, so richly embedded in emotional context, that you can absorb and truly appreciate their import. Soon you begin to understand that the life cycles of many birds demand that they routinely traverse half of the globe or more ... But the book is more than a celebration of astonishing avian feats. Chapter after chapter reveal the giant leaps in knowledge that occur when miniaturization and GPS technology are applied to the legs and backs of birds ... a paean to the beauty of data, viewed in masses, and to citizen science taking ornithology by storm ... Mr. Weidensaul offers the astonishment of birds’ travels, deep concern for their populations and hope for their future in well-measured, beautifully realized doses.